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Classic Kenya Safari

Example 12 Day Tour
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Explore Kenya Safari on this 12-day tour starting at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Admire the stunning views of snow-capped Mt Kenya & the arid lands of Tassia and Il Ngwesi to the north. The conservancy is home to both black & white rhinos, which inspired its name, derived from the Swahili word for ‘rhino.’ During the tour, enjoy shared game drives, bush walks, & visits to Samburu homesteads. You can opt to visit Ngare Ndare Forest Conservancy & experience the rich diversity of this beautiful montane forest at eye level with the monkeys & dozens of bird species high up on the Canopy Walk. Discover Laikipia's unfenced conservancy, home to elephants, leopards, greater kudus, impalas, dik-diks, klipspringers, & striped hyenas. Lastly, enjoy a full-day safari in Masai Mara National Reserve before returning to Nairobi.
A cheetah keeps a sharp watch on the plainsTake a game drive in the Masai Mara region of KenyaLook for wildlife on a guided game driveEnjoy game drives led by trained naturalist guidesLook for zebras on a game driveA herd of elephants crossing the savanna
Highlights
  • Explore Lewa Wildlife Conservancy named after the Swahili word for ‘rhino’
  • Join activities such as quad biking, camel safaris, and more in Ol Lentille
  • Discover Laikipia unfenced conservancy home to impalas, leopards, and more
  • Experience a night game drive and spot lion, leopard or buffalo and more
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi

Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you'll be met and assisted with immigration and customs formalities followed by a short safari briefing and then transferred to your hotel for overnight.

Day 2: Transfer to Lewa Conservancy

This morning transfer to Wilson Airport for your scheduled flight to Lewa.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy covers 65,000 acres of pristine African wilderness with views of snow-capped Mt Kenya and the arid lands of Tassia and Il Ngwesi to the north. It’s named after the Swahili word for ‘rhino’, which is apt, as the conservancy contains both black and white species. Showcasing a range of wild habitats from fertile grasslands, to highland forests and acacia woodland, Lewa habitat supports over 440 bird species and 70 different animal species. Registered as a rhino conservancy, it is famous for its successful endangered species breeding programs for rhino and Grevy zebras. Lewa is home to 10% of Kenya’s rhino and 20% of the world’s population of Grevy zebra. The whole conservancy is fenced and home to over 150 rangers and does extensive outreach to surrounding local communities to share the benefits of wildlife preservation.

Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel, situated on an escarpment at the heart of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. After lunch, you can either take a siesta or sit out on your veranda to enjoy the breathtaking views over Lewa. Later in the afternoon, you can indulge in game viewing in the Conservancy which is a game-rich area with a lot to see.

Day 3-4: Lewa Conservancy

During your stay, explore the Conservancy's diversity through shared game drives, guided bush walks, Ngare Ndare Forest Visit, village visits to a local Samburu homestead, and sundowners. You are accompanied by trained Samburu rangers, with knowledge of the local flora and fauna, tracks, micro-ecosystem, history, and culture of the area, as well as hands-on knowledge of rhino conservation.

You may opt to visit Ngare Ndare Forest Conservancy for the day. Located south of Lewa guests can experience the rich diversity of this beautiful montane forest at eye-level with the monkeys and dozens of bird species high up on the Canopy Walk, and possibly elephants.

You may also, for an additional cost, spot wildlife on horseback or camelback (for experienced riders only).

Day 5: Transfer to Laikipia

After breakfast, transfer to Lewa Airstrip for your charter flight to Ol Lentile Airstrip.

Laikipia offers dramatic landscape and pristine wilderness of a 40,000-acre private, unfenced conservancy which is home to elephants, leopards, greater kudus, impalas, dik-diks, klipspringers and spotted as well as striped hyenas. Endangered species such as the African wild dog, Grevy's zebra, and gerenuk are also often spotted here, as well as a large variety of smaller mammals. Birds are plentiful and include some unusual species. Ol Lentille is situated in a community-owned conservation area in the Laikipia North area and is positioned on one of the highest points in Laikipia.

The Ol Lentille Conservancy has accomplished remarkable results in just 15 years of existence and is a pioneering example of community-based conservation, which aims to align the interests of tourism and conservation with those of the communities that own the land. The combination of community and the lodge’s management skills, supported by the African Wildlife Foundation, has led to an astonishing recovery of wildlife and habitat. The Conservancy has gone from over-grazed semi-desert to an abundance of flora and fauna in a few short years. With grass recovery, erosion has been halted and the Ldarboi spring, dead for at least 100 years, has come back to life.

Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel with a game view en route. Check-in followed by lunch. This afternoon embark on a game drive, led by a trained and knowledgeable Maasai guide, to spot the huge variety of wildlife that inhabits the area.

Day 6-8: Laikipia

On your first day after breakfast, head out for an experience that’s unique to northern Laikipia – a camel safari! Meet your Maasai guides in the middle of the bush before you journey into the wilderness on the back of your camel. Expect exquisite vistas teeming with wildlife and an adventure that culminates with a lavish river-side lunch.

After driving back to the lodge, you could enjoy more time in the spa or relax by the pool. A little later, you might want to head back into the bush for a thrilling quad bike ride with your guide, past the Maasai manyattas (homesteads) to peek into their way of life or visit a local school.

As the sun goes down, head back to the lodge where the day ends in the Library. Here, you’ll marvel at breathtaking 280-degree views and indulge in delicious pre-dinner snacks and drinks around the fire. Most find this relaxing and enjoyable they choose to enjoy their dinner here too.

On the next day after breakfast, set off for a game drive where you might spot elephants, leopards, wild dogs, kudus, Grevy’s zebras, and gerenuks. On the way back, you could drop by one of the local primary schools for a chat with the students and teachers and play a game of football. 

In the afternoon, the action continues at the lodge with engaging activities such as archery, croquet, and boules. Alternatively, chat with the local ladies about creating a bespoke beaded Maasai bracelet or ankle band.

Later, take a leisurely game drive towards Ol Lentille mountain, Laikipia’s second tallest peak. You can hike up the peak with your guide and, while it’s a 40-minute climb, you’ll be rewarded with the most spectacular views of the jagged mountains and deep valleys of Laikipia.

As for dinner? It’s waiting for you in a secret spot in the bush where you’re greeted by the soft glow of tree branch lanterns that light your path to a roaring fire. Tables and chairs have been set up for you to indulge in the legendary bush dinner.

The following day, begins with a trip to one of the small towns around the Conservancy, a short 30-minute drive away, to enjoy the excitement of the market day. You’ll likely be the only tourists walking among the Maasai, Samburu, and other members of Kenya’s diverse ethnic groups. Try your hand at bargaining for beads and locally crafted shoes. You may even get to witness livestock auctions. 

Alternatively, visit the “singing wells” located near the Conservancy. This tradition is unique to this part of Laikipia. During the dry season, a well is dug in a dry riverbed and Maasai warriors descend into it, forming a human pyramid to collect water at the bottom and pass it to the top. As they work, each warrior sings a song unique to his cattle, and listening to it echo through the valley is an incredibly moving experience.

Back at the lodge, you’ll enjoy lunch by the poolside and relax around the grounds.

By late afternoon, let’s head out to one of the neighboring homesteads for the signature “Evening at the Manyatta”. You’ll be greeted warmly by the elders. Dinner is a delicious African buffet with warriors performing lively dances to introduce you to their fascinating culture. You might also get the chance to discuss local issues with the elders and visit the women’s craft group. This deeply authentic interaction is hosted by the community that owns the land, including the lodge. When you leave, you’ll feel energized by the remarkable experience and insight into the local culture.

After breakfast, head out to the airstrip for your morning flight. Upon take-off, the memories of your time in that remote and magical land linger.

Day 9: Fly to Maasai Mara

You'll have an early breakfast and transfer to Loisaba Airstrip for your scheduled flight to Maasai Mara.

The Masai Mara National Reserve, together with Tanzania's Serengeti, forms Africa's most renowned wildlife park. For many people, the image of acacia trees scattered across endless grass plains represents the quintessential African landscape. The annual wildebeest migration is the highlight of the Masai Mara National Reserve, as it crosses the vast plains of the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. It is the largest land mammal migration with over a million animals following the rains. The reserve is also home to a large pride of lions, herds of elephants, as well as giraffes, gazelles, and eland. Besides traditional vehicle safaris and horse riding safaris, hot-air ballooning over the Mara plains has become almost essential.

Upon arrival, you meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. En route to camp, you have your first wildlife sighting. After lunch, relax and set off on an afternoon game drive in the conservancy until sunset. Return to camp at dusk for hot showers and dinner.

Day 10-11: Masai Mara

/> Spend your time on game drives to explore the conservancy and spot lions, buffalo, elephants, leopards, and rhinos. You can opt for a guided walk in the morning accompanied by an armed KWS Ranger and your Naturalist.

Mara Bushtops offers a unique experience of night game drives. The lights of the 4x4s pick out the eyes of a spring hare bounding like a kangaroo, or the loping figure of a hunter bearing down on a herd of impala. A night game drive is a wonderful opportunity to spot the best of Kenya’s wildlife – perhaps a lion, leopard, buffalo, silver-backed jackal, hyena, or banded mongoose.

You can also indulge in massages, facials, hydrotherapy, skin treatments, fitness workouts, saunas, Jacuzzis, and swimming at the Amani Spa in Mara Bushtops.

For an additional cost, you can experience hot air balloon safaris over the Masai Mara and enjoy spectacular sights of the region’s sprawling plains and inhabitants before descending to a delicious bush breakfast.

The next day, wake up to the sounds of the African bush and have an early breakfast. Head out on a full-day safari to look for the Big Five in the Masai Mara National Reserve (with a picnic lunch). Return to camp in the late afternoon. After dinner, enjoy story-sharing around the fireplace.

Day 12: Fly to Nairobi | Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Breakfast at Camp and then transfer to the Airstrip for your flight to Nairobi. Upon arrival, you transfer to Nairobi Airport for your onward flight returning home.

Accommodations

House of Waine

House of Waine Exterior
House of Waine
Swimming Pool

Elewana Kifaru House

Dining
Infinity Pool
Lounge

Ol Lentille

Pool
Spa

Mara Bushtops

Lounge
Tent Mara Bushtops
Hot tub

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$15,394 2-3 travelers

Notes

Select a Date
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Laundry 
  • 1 liter of water per person per day while in an Albatros safari vehicle
  • Current Government taxes and levies
  • Park & Concession Fees
  • Internal domestic flights /charters
  • Included Activities:
    -Kifaru House: Scheduled and shared game drives, guided walking safaris, visits to Ngare Ndare Forest, sundowners, bush breakfasts, and transfers to and from designated airstrips.
    -Ol Lentille: Private day and night game drives (with a shared vehicle for guests staying in a separate Acacia suite), walking safaris, mountain and quad biking, archery, opportunities to engage in conservation initiatives, sundowners in stunning locations, and transfers to and from the airstrip, a scenic 15-minute drive away, are included.
    -Mara Bushtops: Guests can enjoy two extended game drives daily or a full-day game drive with a bush lunch on a shared basis, along with sundowners and night game drives (not available for children under 16). Walking safaris and transfers from Siana airstrip are also provided.
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Entry Visas to the country
  • Premium drinks

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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